Confirmed: Juggalos Are Not a Drug Gang

By McCarton Ackerman 03/08/13

Insane Clown Posse fans were subject to a 14-month FBI investigation after two drug busts.

Not a threat to national security. Photo via

What is a juggalo? A lot of things, but not a threat to national security, a new report confirms. Clown makeup-wearing fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, known as "juggalos," were subject to a 14-month FBI investigation as a possible national gang threat, following a pair of drug busts in 2011. The FBI included the Juggalos in its 2011 report on national gang activity, accusing the band's followers of being a "loosely-organized hybrid gang" that is "forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity." After local Utah police arrested two Juggalos on drug charges in March 2011, an FBI agent in Salt Lake City opened up the investigation, writing that "Juggalo crimes" in several states fit the pattern of "crimes typically seen by gangs or gang members" including drug sales, possession and child endangerment. "Insane Clown Posse can’t get its music on the radio, but claims to have 1 million devoted fans who call themselves ‘Juggalos’ or ‘Juggalettes,'" explained the agent. But an investigation from Muck Rock, a Massachusetts company that built a web tool to help journalists, activists and lawyers file Freedom of Information Act requests, has confirmed that the FBI's concerns were unfounded. The band unsuccessfully sued the FBI last September in order to get them to disclose the basis for investigating their fans, but the Salt Lake City division of the FBI had already “recommended the captioned cases be closed” last May due to lack of evidence. “It’s cool that ICP really cares enough to hold the FBI accountable,” says Tom Nash, Muck Rock’s news editor. “They never approached us. But we’d be very interested in working with them.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.